New York Yankees: The 11 Most Anticipated Series of the Season

Michael Nargi@NargOnSportsSenior Analyst IMarch 5, 2012

New York Yankees: The 11 Most Anticipated Series of the Season

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    The New York Yankees will be looking to get back on top of the American League in 2012. They have long and demanding schedule from the start of the season until the final day in October. 

    The Yankees are going to be tested from day one when they start the season in St. Petersburg against the Tampa Bay Rays

    Aside from the normal highly anticipated matchups with the Boston Red Sox,  L.A. Angels and Texas Rangers, a new rivalry is prevalent with the Detroit Tigers.

    New York has very interesting interleague matchups this season as well. They take to the road to face the Atlanta Braves and the much-improved Washington Nationals.

    The 162-game schedule might come down to the final series of the season in October when the Yankees welcome the Red Sox to the Bronx.

October 1-3 vs. Boston Red Sox

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    The final three games of the year might decide everything. The division has ample importance for the first time since the Wild Card was implemented. 

    The two wild-card teams in each league must face each other in a one-game playoff to get to the division series. No team wants to have their season hinge in the balance of one game.

    The AL East might come down to the last three days of the year between the Yankees and the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. 

    It is almost inevitable that the three top dogs in the AL East will be fighting for spots in the playoffs, so three teams seasons' might come down to this series in the Bronx.

    The Tampa Bay Rays will watch as these two teams battle, but they will have their shot to decide things as well, starting in the first series of the season in St. Petersburg. 

April 6-8 at Tampa Bay Rays

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    The regular season begins just as last year's regular season ended:

    With the Yankees facing the Rays at Tropicana Field.

    The Yankees certainly are looking to start the season on the right foot against their division rival. They will have a tough task facing the Rays exceptional starting pitching.

    It might be the first series of the year, but it might go a long way in seeing how these teams measure up. 

June 11-13 at Atlanta Braves

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    The last time the Yankees were in Atlanta, they turned their season around in a series that many thought was the beginning of their 2009 championship run. 

    The Yankees entered the second game of the series with a loss the night before to Atlanta and owners of a 38-32 record.

    After trailing 1-0 and not having a baserunner for five innings in game two on June 24, 2009, Brett Gardner worked a walk.

    After being picked off, Joe Girardi had a tirade on the field after the umpire got the call wrong. Girardi was ejected and Francisco Cervelli followed the Girardi show by hitting his first major league home run and igniting the Yankees dugout. 

    It seemed like the Yankees never looked back that season.

    They went on to win the World Series and that game in Atlanta seemed like the spark the team needed.

    This season, both teams are going to be playoff-caliber teams so another trip to Atlanta should provide fans with more fireworks.

April 27-29 vs. Detroit Tigers

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    The Yankees lost the ALDS last season to the Detroit Tigers. They will get their first opportunity to avenge the painful Game 5 loss on April 27 when they welcome the new-look Tigers.

    If the Yankees couldn't beat the Tigers last season in the playoffs, then they are going to have their hands full this season. The Tigers newest addition, Prince Fielder, will make their lineup one of the best in baseball.

    New York might have underestimated the Tigers last season in the playoffs. This season there will be no chance to underestimate them. They are one of the best teams in the league.

    The Yanks will be looking for redemption in this early-season series.

April 13-15 vs. Los Angeles Angels

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    Yankee Stadium will open its doors for the first time this season on April 13 and welcome the Los Angeles Angels. 

    This series will have it all. Two prolific teams and the Angels newest addition, Albert Pujols.

    The home opener any season is special but facing the Angels and Pujols will give the stadium a little more of a buzz this year.

    The Angels also have added C.J. Wilson who should prove to be valuable as well. The Angels pitching staff is among the best in the league and their offense is dynamic.

June 15-17 at Washington Nationals

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    The Yankees will take a trip to the nations capital in mid-June to play in an exciting three-game series.

    Although the implications of this series are not as high as divisional games, this series might be one of the most intriguing series of the year.

    The Nationals acquired pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson during the offseason. Along with phenom Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmerman and John Lannan, they have a potent pitching rotation.

    They have a powerful lineup as well, with Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse and Jayson Worth in the middle of their lineup. If they have top prospect Bryce Harper in the majors by then, it will be an even more challenging series for the Yankees.

September 11-13 at Boston Red Sox

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    The Yankees lost 10 of their first 12 games last season against the Red Sox. They finished the season 6-12 against them. 

    If the Red Sox have that kind of success this season against the Yankees, then the division will be very much in jeopardy for the Yanks. 

    This series is the end of a 10-game road trip for the Yankees. They are going to have to fight in this series at Fenway.

    The Yankees won't have any time to rest before they return home to face the Rays for the final time in the regular season.

September 14-16 vs. Tampa Bay Rays

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    New York will have their last shot to take care of business against the Rays in the middle of September. They welcome the Rays to the Stadium in a battle that could help decide the AL East. 

    Last season, the Yankees clinched the division against the Rays when Jorge Posada came through. It is unlikely that anything will be clinched in this series, but positioning in the playoffs is going to help be determined in this series.

April 23-25 at Texas Rangers

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    The Yankees could not beat the Rangers in 2010 in the ALCS. The Rangers have a dangerous team again this season so it won't be any easier when the Yankees hit the road a few weeks into the season. 

    This is the only trip the Yankees have to Arlington this season. It will be an exciting early season series in Texas.

    The Yankees will be reluctant to have the trip to Texas done and over with by the end of April.

June 22-24 Subway Series at New York Mets

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    The last couple seasons the New York Mets have kept their fans hopeful for a couple of months.

    This season is going to be rough on the Mets but if they can keep their record respectable for a few months, then this matchup will have some meaning. Otherwise, the Yanks will be looking at a three game sweep in Flushing.

May 11-13 vs. Seattle Mariners

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    A bonus one here.

    Jesus Montero will make his return to New York in May when the Seattle Mariners come to town.

    Montero was only with the Yankees for a short period of time but he was productive while he was a part of the team. He became a fan favorite quickly but was involved in a trade to acquire Michael Pineda during the offseason. 

    The crowd will warmly welcome him when he returns.